Polling for Gorakhpur, Phulpur LS in UP bypolls starts

Leslie WoodMar 12, 2018

As per Election Commission, 19.61 lakh voters in Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency are expected to exercise their franchise at 2,059 polling booths, while 19.49 lakh voters in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency were expected to cast their votes at 2,141 polling booths. When asked if he has become the new poster boy of BJP, Yogi said the he is a party worker and it is under the able leadership of PM Narendra Modi that they have achieved good results in the recent elections.

Attacking the BSP and the SP, the chief minister claimed, "These parties are indulging in negative politics, politics of bargaining and politics of opportunism".

In Adityanath's bastion, the BJP's concern could be sensed from the fact that the UP Chief Minister addressed as many as 16 public meetings in run-up to the bypoll - something, local party leaders said, he never did even when contesting himself all these years. The voters of Mayawatiji have deserted the BSP and have reposed their faith in Modiji, Yogi and BJP. "We are winning both the Lok Sabha seats, and with wider margin".

The strength of the much-discussed Opposition unity will also be tested in the bypoll, especially after BSP chief Mayawati chose to bury her 24-year rivalry with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and extend support to SP candidates: Praveen Kumar Nishad in Gorakhpur and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel in Phulpur.

Apart from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and homeguards, 65 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful bypolls.

In what could be a "rehearsal" for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the by-elections are seeing a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the SP and the Congress.

After a high-voltage campaign and Alliance of Congress, BSP, and SP, now the stage is set for voting in Uttar Pradesh's Phulpur and Gorakhpur parliamentary constituencies.

State chief minister Yogi Adityanath was seen voting at a polling booth in Gorakhpur constituency. A total of 19.63 lakh voters will decide the fate of 22 candidates. Prior to Yogi Adityanath, the seat was thrice represented in Parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath. The BJP has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel against SP's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have extended their support to the SP candidate.

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